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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: June 2019

7 - International Law: Human Rights


Because of its transboundary effects and because states will be the primary actors, large-scale solar geoengineering and its governance are matters of international law. This is the third of four chapters that consider international legal rules, here regarding human rights. The chapter introduces international human rights law and how it relates to the environment and climate change. It reviews and critiques the limited literature on human rights and solar geoengineering. The remainder considers the issues in four ways. First, solar geoengineering is presently being explored as scientific research, for which international human rights law has provisions for the researcher and the potential beneficiaries of resulting knowledge. Second, outdoor research may affect people as research subjects, for whom international human rights law provides some protections. Third, procedural human rights to information, participation in public affairs, and legal remedies are widely recognized. Finally, the international law of substantive human rights such as those to health, to an adequate standard of living, to be free from hunger, and to life could inform solar geoengineering governance.